The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
Christmas has come and gone in what seems like a blink of an eye.
Christmas Eve both the hubby and I had to work, though it seemed as if at times we were the only ones working. I believe my company was the only one in the building working on Monday as I was able to get a parking spot close to the building. I can say it was nice to not see as much traffic as usual. As the hours ticked by, slowly at that, it seemed like we would be trapped there until 5pm. Thankfully at around 1:15 the VP of sales finally came around and said that the office was indeed closing at 2:30. It was a good thing too because I had zero emails from customers.
After work we had a bit of time at home before we packed up the wine and the cheesecake I made and headed over to my older brothers house for the Christmas Eve festivities with my Dad’s side of the extended family. The hubby and I opted out of being included in the Pick a name gift exchange. We were there for the food, and the fun, oh and the wine and the Hubbies home made eggnog. Just before we were getting ready to leave it started to snow so although we had a white Christmas it wasn’t a very heavy accumulation. As you can see by the picture below the Classiness just comes out when the whole family is together. That or proof that my brother isn’t a wine drinker and only owned 1 corkscrew.
The best gift of the night went to my mother, from my cousin. A Calendar with a bunch of old and newer pics.
This picture has to be right up there around 13-14 years old. The hubby is on the left, I am on the right and my Youngest Uncle is in the middle.
Christmas morning arrived and with it was the beginning of another fun filled crazy day. We had some last minute dinner prep to do in the morning before we had breakfast and opened our presents. The Hubby got some new Doctor Who paraphenalia – a Tardis Laplander Hat, a Calendar, and a Dalek Ornament. I got a silicone bite size brownie pan, a bag of Chili Paste to make Kimchi with, and the best gift ever a 4 pack of Copper Moscow Mule Mugs and Ginger Beer. The Moscow Mule has become my new favorite drink.
The hubby and I for the Christmas meal have elected to be in charge of the prime rib. You can see it cooking on the left. The hubby dry aged the beef for a month. On the right you will see the fryer going for the turkey.
Dinner was wonderful, the best part being that it wasn’t at our house so the clean up was minimal. My youngest brother and his wife who also just bought a house this year offered to host the holiday. There were 18 of us in total which included all of my siblings and their respective spouses and kids, my parents, an uncle, a cousin, and my grandmother. While the hubby was in charge of the meat, I offered to bring dessert, upon my brothers request for Bread Pudding. I also made his wife a gluten free carrot cake, which I must say was delicious.
The second best gift of the holiday (not including any I received) was the fabulous sparkly skirt we gave the Niece. She has been all about the dress up lately, and the minute she opened it she wanted to put it on. She HAD to take off the outfit she was wearing and then put the skirt on so it was shirtless skirt wearing for a while. My Mom was finally able to get her to put her pajamas on, but she also had to put the skirt back on too.
So that was Christmas in a nutshell, now on to New Years!
And boy what a week it was. What better thing to do on Christmas Eve as I sit at the office than to recap the week.
To say the week was busy would be an understatement. We haven’t stopped going since last week when I started my cookie baking.
Monday we started the week off by joining some friends we haven’t seen in a very long time for dinner. I got a call the previous Friday which honestly kind of surprised me. I had decided a few months back to stop putting forth the effort with them and leave things in their hands. The last time we saw them was when half of the couple came by the house to pick up some stuff we had been storing for them (for about 2 years). The time before that was when that same half of the couple, the other half is a cop and wasn’t really around much for socializing, came to our New Year’s party last year and skipped out without saying goodbye. This was before Midnight even hit. Done. With. Them.
Tuesday was actually the quietest night of them all. The hubby did some tile repair in the kitchen while I made the appetizers that we were going to bring to the Drum Corps Pot Luck on Wednesday Night. In place of our normal rehearsal and instead of a weekend Christmas Party the Drum Corps opted to have a week night potluck. It was a fun time sitting with the ex work wife and some of the other members. We had a good time and I was surprised at how well my appetizers were. They will definitely be a make again. I made 2 different types of Quinoa Bites, Pepperoni and Shredded Mozzarella, and Fresh Mozzarella and Herbs.
Thursday night was the start of a weekend of celebrating and debauchery. Thursday night we were out at a local bar right down the street from us. It was our ALA’s (Alternative Lifestyle Assistant) Birthday. Her mom planned for a small group to get together for dinner, drinks, and cake. The service was meh, the food was standard bar, the waitress was a little flighty so overall it was a usual night at this establishment.
So that was the first half of the week, the Weekend portion will be posted shortly.
Friday was the big night out for the hubby, the ALA and I. Back in September I bought tickets to see Straight No Chaser (for the second time this year) for the 3 of us. The ALA’s ticket was her Birthday present. The concert was at one of the Casinos here in CT. So I took the day off from work, the hubby and ALA each worked a half day. The drive time to get there was about 2 hours, which meant the drive home was going to be so much fun late at night.
We arrived and wandered around a bit through the gaming area before we headed over to where all of the restaurants were. My original choice for dinner turned out to not be what I thought it was. My backup choices were quickly put out there as options, and when we saw the Irish Pub was closed it was option 3 for mexican at SolToro Tequila Grill.
The food was amazing! This was definitely a win in my book.
My drink choice was the Cucurita.
El Charro Blanco, Gran Gala Orange Liquor, Muddled Cucumber, Mint, & Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice.
I started with the Shrimp Ceviche – Tomatillo, Serrano Chile & Lime.
For my Entree I had the Enchiladas Suizas with Chicken. The waitress let me get both the Ranchera Salsa and the Creamy Tomatillo Salsa.
After Dinner we did a little shopping, I picked up a present for a friend, the hubby found some new Swarovski Display pieces that we needed to buy and add to our new collection. On the cruise we bought a Santa and a Flying Cow. Now we also have a Pig and Ducky to go with them and display year round. After shopping I had a little Ding Ding fever so I sat myself down at a Slot machine while waiting for them to open the doors for the concert. I walked away $20 ahead of where I started so I call that a win.
Me and the Hubby
The Hubby and the Girlfriend (or ALA)
Straight No Chaser was Fabulous! Below are some pictures and Video I took of the concert. I was late to the game with buying the tickets so we couldn’t get floor seats. The seats were good though, they could have been worse. The Guys were amazing as always. They sang some of the new songs that will be on their next album out on May 7, 2013. The show was a sold out crowd of 6,000.
Here is one of the reasons I love Straight No Chaser – This is a great holiday song they wrote called the Christmas Can-Can.
This is another reason – an A Capella version of Carol of the Bells s0 moving.
One of my favorite songs plus I had to take video of the Disco ball!
No trip to the casino would be complete without some Krispy Kreme donuts since this is now the closest place we can get them fresh from the donut making machine. The hubby and I each had one before we hopped back in the car and drove home.
Saturday hands down was the best day of the week, actually the best day of the last few weeks, since we came back from the cruise. Along with our normal saturday errands and last minute Christmas shopping we had a full day ahead of us of fun and Frivolity and possibly some debauchery.
First up was a lunch date I set up with a fellow blogger/tweeter. Many of you probably know JP from Life is Such a Sweet Insanity. He tweeted late last week that he was embarking on the final christmas shopping event of the season and was going to be road tripping it the few hours to our area with his Husband. Well I’m not one to let an opportunity to meet someone who’s blog I read and follow on twitter. So I immediately
stalked Tweeted him back for the details and see about meeting up.
We arranged to get together for a late lunch at one of our local favorite places for dinner. The hour we spent together flew buy and talking to JP and his husband Earl felt like talking to old friends and not people we just met. Since they are the type who will just hop in the car and drive, I told them if they were ever down this way again to let us know. And I’m just gonna lay it out there, JP HOT! he’s one of those that looks good in pictures but is so much more handsome in person. Earl is pretty easy on the eyes too.
Saturday night was the piece DE resistance of the Saturday fun. There is a local group over in the Hudson Valley area of New York called Big Gay Hudson Valley. They were sponsoring a festive little holiday show called “HUNG With Care: A Holiday Burlesque Cabaret”. SO. MUCH. FUN. And the Boys were CUUUUUUTE, both the ones on stage and the ones in the audience.
So I have splurged and purchased VIP tickets which gave us a Cabaret Table and a Complimentary Drink – a delicious Gliterred Nipple. It was much to my surprise (as well as the hubbies, whose exact word upon seeing our seats was “REALLY?”) that our table was right up front practically touching the stage. It turns out that one of the evenings hosts decided that since we were driving about an hour to come to the show he could at least help to make our experience a good one.
So this was the view of the Catwalk we had all night during the show.
Now this was not just Burlesque but it was also Boylesque. There were 2 women who performed BB Heart and Stormy Leather. The hubby was happy that one of the women performers gave us a fantastic Tits & Feathers show. Though at one point there was a wardrobe malfunction and the Feather Fan got stuck in her Fishnet. She is dancing and fanning and the next thing we know she is unbuckling her high heel, flinging it off to the side and taking her fishnet off along with her fan.
Now I enjoyed the women dancing, I had no choice as they decided I was going to be included in the show since I was practically sitting on the stage.
Now on to the Boys! The host of the show and the hottest one was Go-Go Harder, he is the leader of a group called Boylesque 101. He started the show off as a Nut Cracker, literally and figuratively. During his act the pulled 2 pecans out of his sparkly thong and naturally threw them our way and the hubby caught it. He kept checking back in with us during the show cause he was worried that the Vaginas were scaring me. I was able to get a quick chat with him after the show and he was a naturally sweet guy.
The second (hottest) guy to come out was Go Go Gadget. He had also spent some pre-show time out on the catwalk dancing around. He did this hot little number about not touching his pie which ended with him in nothing but whipped cream. The third (hottest) guy was Topher Bousquet who came out the first time with Stormy Leather and did a fun rendition of Baby It’s Cold Outside. He then came out during the second act and did the amazing contortion act complete with hula hoop.
I had a chance to talk briefly with the two guys who run the group just after the show ended but unfortunately we didn’t make it over to the local bar after the show to chat some more with them. The hubby and I didn’t eat prior to the show since we had the late lunch but were starved by the time the show was over. So off we went to a local diner for a bite to eat before we got on the road and drove the hour back home. Since we had other ways to contact each other we have already started talking about making plans to get together for dinner.
Sunday was mani-pedi day for Mom and Dad’s dog Lucy. The hubby trimmed her nails and Dad made us breakfast, win-win. A quick trip to the store for some last minute grocery items and a trip to the liquor store and then it was home to get my Christmas desserts made. Since I have to work today (Christmas Eve) I wasn’t going to have time to bake. I spent Sunday afternoon baking the Carrot Cakes for Christmas Day and the Cheesecake for Christmas Eve while the hubby made his delicious homemade Eggnog from his Grandmas recipe. When he was finished it amounted to about 3 gallons.
We brought a half gallon over to our friends house for Downton Abbey night with the Gays. It went well with the cherry crumble we had for dessert after we had a delicious salad and homemade lasagna.
It was a great night with friends, food, and merriment. The perfect way to end the weekend and start Christmas week.
Day 3 of the cruise was a visit to the cruise lines private island in the Bahamas, Cococay. You could just call it a Beach, Buffett, and Bar in the middle of the ocean.
It was a nice day just laying in the beach with friends, checking out the guys and taking in the sun. After lunch and some beach chair time we decided to beat the rush and head back over to the ship. We had some wine on our balcony while we waited for our canapés to arrive then headed to our final evening of free cocktails in our elite members lounge.
We did some shopping and the popped up to the pictures to see if any were good enough to buy. We ended up with 4 of us and purchased one of Walt and Ken as a gift. We met them in the lounge which offers the biggest selection of beers on the ship had a final drink together before we went our separate ways for dinner.
The last night always the saddest night. We had to pack our bag after dinner then wandered off to see who we could see for the last time and exchange info and last goodbyes.
Off to bed floating in the ocean awaken docked at the pier in Miami.
Thursday was supposed to have been our port day in Nassau, Bahamas. The cosmos had other plans I guess. Not that we were as shaken up over it as the poor Bride to be scheduled to married at 1pm somewhere on the island.
The captain announced Weds night that due to some mixup or other circumstances there was no longer a berth available for the ship to dock in Nassau for the day. The backup plan was we would dock from 6 to midnight. Honestly neither option really thrilled me, we planned on pretending it was a sea day and we were just going to stay on the ship anyway.
We had a fabulous day hanging out with our friends in the morning and then some new friends we met at the Muster Drill in the afternoon. I love meeting new people on board and if they happen to be other homos all the better.
So as we were getting ready to head out for our Elite member free cocktail 2 hours in the Sky Lounge the captain made the announcement that due to the weather the ships already docked in Nassau were unable to leave, which meant we were unable to dock, that there was going to be yet another change if plans.
We were unaware until this point that the CEO of Celebrity happened to be onboard the ship. We knew there was a large Sales contingency on board for a Sales Conference/Awards banquet. So the captain says as a gesture of good faith the CEO was opening all bars with a special menu for all guests free of charge from 5-6pm. In all of the 13 cruises we have ever been on this was a first. So I immediately picked up the phone and called Walt and Ken and we arranged to meet at what I thought would be the least busy bar. We got there and were shocked if was 5 people deep. I’ve never seen that many people at The Passport Bar on deck 3.
We quickly changed plans and scurried off to the Casino bar which was surprisingly less crowded. We ordered our drinks and grabbed some chairs from the slot machines since the casino itself was closed and settled in for the hour which turned into an hour and a half after the captain extended the open bar. Shortly after we sat down our new friends Greg, Bart, and Roger along with his dad Bob joined our little soirée.
After drinks we sent The Boys to dinner and we headed back to the room for our ties and jackets to get some pictures taken. We still had a bit of time to kill before our scheduled 8:30 dinner in the dining room.
This is the first time I can say I was really disappointed in the table we ended up at for dinner. We always request to be seated at a large table, we like to meet people. Only twice in our 13 cruises have we ever been at a table with people we just had no connection with. The first was our transatlantic but we ended up meeting others and moving to their table. The other was a 4 top in the middle of the dining room with a straight couple that just didn’t work although we stuck it out.
This cruise we were seated at a 2 top. Now I know so e people would like that but we spend 24 hours together what is there to talk about at dinner with just us. If we were going to be there for more than 2 nights I would have requested a table change. I was hoping the 4 top next to us would be full but the couple that say down didn’t even glance our way.
I will say I loved my dinner though!
Tournedos of Beef with the morel mushroom sauce
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
We made the best of it and had a delicious meal and an Anniversary cake the hubby ordered unbeknownst to me.
After dinner we met up with Walt and Ken and hit the casino where I promptly spent 20 minutes on a penny slot and lost $20.
Me and Walt
The hubby modeling the latest in Ship Curtains
I slept well that night.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I wholeheartedly believe this to be true. This post will elicit many words with just pictures and will tell the story of our first nights dinner onboard the Celebrity Reflection.
Our friends Walt and Ken insisted we join them for dinner at one of the newest specialty restaurants Celebrity has put into the fleet. Qsine is a place unlike any other. The menus are iPads. The elegance and presentation are unparalleled. I present dinner as it was presented to us by Patrick the former Chippendale.